8 Day Celtic West of Ireland Tour
Highlights: Visiting Kerry, Dingle - Mount Brandon - Clare - Doolin - Cliffs of Moher - The Aran Islands
|Price: 8 Day Tour €835; Deposit of €150 required||
|Accommodation Type: Tourism Ireland approved Guesthouses and Hotels|
The West of Ireland is a true treasure to explore with its wonderful lakes, mountains, sea shores and inhabited islands. This part of the country is also steeped in folklore, history and fine Irish music. We will visit ancient monuments such as Ogham stones, stone circles, Dolmens and other evidence of this Island’s rich and curious past.
Day 1:Travel to Dingle Co. Kerry
8am: Pick up the city centre Dublin - Dublin Tourism Office. This is where your adventure begins. You will have the option to be picked up from Shannon Airport this day or Limerick city at 12 pm if this is more suitable. We will make our our way down to the Kingdom of Kerry with a stop along the way to stretch the legs and see some of Limerick. We will also be passing through the famous town of Tralee, known for it's Rose (as in a beautiful girl, Cailin in Irish) competition each August. We wil be staying in Dingle for the next 2 nights.
Dingle in Co. Kerry this is a fantastic small fishing port at the very southern tip of Ireland. When we all reach Dingle and you settle in to your accommodation in the heart of Dingle town called the Lantern Townhouse. We will then go for dinner in one of Dingles fine restaurants or bars and relax for the rest of the evening. Dingle is well known for being one of the livliest towns in the region with live irish music in most of its incredible amount of pubs. There are also some great craft shops, cafes, seafood restaurants and a very friendly dolphin called "Funghi" that you can also swim with if you fancy.
As they say "Some land touches the heart but Dingle touches the soul"
Day 2: Mt Brandon 952m
Walk type: moderate - hard approx 5hrs.
After a hearthy Irish breakfast we will walk Mt Brandon, named after Saint Brandon " the navigator" who is chiefly renowned for his legendary journey to The Isle of the Blessed (also called Tír na nÓg) and believed to have travelled to Greenland and America. This one of the best mountain walks in Ireland and the views are incredible in all directions, to the south are the Blasket and Skellig Islands and the whole southern coast of Kerry is visible incuding the mcgillicuddy reeks which are the highest mountain range in Ireland.
On the way back we will stop in Tome Crean's South Pole pub for a refreshing pint. Tom Crean is a very famous explorer and went on expedition to the South Pole with Shackleton and Scott. The book an "Unsung Hero" about Tom Crean is well worth a read and may help you enjoy the Dingle Peninsula even more..
Day 3: Dingle Co. Kerry and travel to Doolin.
Walk type: easy - moderate
We will stay in Dingle for part of the day and do a short walk in the area, the old green road which comes along Conor pass and back into the town.
We may then visit one of Dingle's highlights "Funghi" the bottlenose dolphin, which has been living in Dingle Bay since 1983 and you can book a boat trip to see him or even hire a wet suit and swim with Funghi.
In the afternoon we will travel to Doolin in County Clare and we will be staying in Dolls Cottage which is owned by the O'Connors and famous for Its traditinal Irish Music for the next two nights. We will be taking a Ferry across the mouth of the river Shannon into County Clare and head north on one of the most scenic coast roads in Ireland with views out across the Atlantic Ocean.
"Take a view o’er the mountains, fine sights you’ll see there;
You’ll see high, rocky mountains on the west coast of Clare,
Oh, the towns of Kilkee and Kilrush can be seen,
From the high, rocky slopes ‘round the Cliffs of Dooneen."
Doolin really is the capital of Irish music in the West of Ireland, a small and wonderful little village.
Day 4: Doolin Co. Clare and the Aran Islands.
Cycle on the Aran Islands
Doolin is a small coastal town known for it's Irish music and wonderful scenery. Doolin is very close to the Aran Islands.
Today weather permitting we will visit one of the most spectcular places in all of Ireland The Aran Isalnds. We will take a Ferry from Doolin to Inis Mor, the largest of the three Aran Islands. This is a Gaeltacht area where Irish is still the main language. The Island is full of wonder and absolutely beautiful, I'm sure you will not want to leave. We will hire some bicycles, this is the best way to explore this island and we will visit the world heritage site of Dun Aonghasa Fort which stands over a dramatic 300 foot cliff.
After this we will all enjoy a 1 Hour Cruise underneath the stunning Cliffs Of Moher. The Cliffs Of Moher rise to a height of over 700ft/214 meters.
We will then get the Ferry back and relax for the rest of the evening in Doolin. Doolin is famous for it's great Irish music in it's bars.
Day 5: Clifden, Connemara Co. GalwayWalk type: easy 3hrs
After breakfast we will take any easy walk in one of the most incredible places to walk or visit in the west of Ireland " The Burren". The Burren is a limestone karst whose flora are internationally famous, The bloody cranesbill, mountain avens and sping gentians are among the many plants from the Arctic, Alps and Mediterranean which grow here..
In the afternoon we will travel to Connemara which is the area that "the Quiet Man" and "the Field" where both filmed in and when you visit the place it will not be difficult to understand why.
We will staying in some very unique accommodation Dan O'Hara's Homestead near the small fishing village of Clifden. A very unique experience with a local tour of the farm of Dan O Hara, who emigarted to America like so many Irish in the 1800s.
This area holds a special place in anyone's heart that has visited here and it captures the idea of Ireland that many visitors to Ireland have of what they would expect with small cottages, beautiful landscapes and undisturbed beauty.
Clifden is renowned for it's Oysters and holds an Oyster festival every year. So it is the right place to enjoy a few with a pint of Guinness, a very traditional Irish dish. You could relax in the small cinema on the side of the guest house in the evening and watch either "The Quiet Man", "The Matchmaker" or "The Field" which were all filmed in this area.
Day 6: Kylemore Abbey and Diamond HillWalk type: easy 3hrs.
Today we visit the Kylemore Abbey and walk Diamond Hill. Beside Letterfrack in the Connemara national Park sits Diamond Hill. It is a 7km loop walk with an ascent of 400m but from it's summit you get commanding views of the Connemara mountains and it's coastline. You can aslo clearly see Kylemore , the oldest of the Irish Benedictine abbeys on a lakeside which is infamous with the area of Connemara.
We will then make our way on up to Yeat's Country, County Sligo stopping along the way to take in some incredible scenery.
Day 7: County Sligo and Benbulbin.
Knocknarea (Queen Maeve's tomb)
Walk type: moderate approx 4hrs
Sligo, one of the most scenically beautiful counties in Ireland and offers endless opportunities to walkers. The mountainous landscape, the boglands, endless stretches of sandy beaches and forests.
We will walk Knocknarea, a tomb which folklore says was built for the mythical Iron Age Queen Maeve, whose father, the high king of Ireland, gave her Connacht as a gift. We will be staying at the foot of Benbulben in the Yeat's Lodge in Drumcliffe.
|We will also visit the grave of W.B. Yeat's at Drumcliff.||
"Cast a cold eye
On life, on death.
Horseman, pass by!"
There are many wonderful beaches in sligo and it is one of the best locations in the world for surfing. You can also relax after your walk in a sea weed bath near the strand beach.
Day 8: County Sligo Yeat's Country.
Today we will do a walk along one of Sligo's many great beaches.
We will also visit Lissadell house The childhood home of Countess Constance Markievicz, patriot and first woman to be elected to the House of Commons at Westminster.
“ I do wish your lot had the decency to shoot me.” – Countess Markievicz, to the officer at Kilmainham Jail who had just informed her she was not to be executed for the part she had played in the 1916 rising on account of her sex.
Then we say goodbye to the West and head back for Dublin.
- 7 nights in friendly accommodation approved by the Irish Tourist Board.
- Transport from and to Dublin. (Pickup from Airport on request)
- Breakfast each morning and lunch for walks
- Evening meal upon arrival in Dingle.
- Numerous guided walks with full time friendly guide.
- Visited places of interest in the West of Ireland.
- Full time guide.to assist you with plenty of local knowledge and stories.
- Boats and ferries.
Cost per person sharing for the 8 Day Tour is €835 per person sharing.
With a single supplement of €125
Minimum numbers would be 5 and max would be 12 for this tour.